As Better Call Saul inches towards its August 15th conclusion on AMC, Bob Odenkirk has already landed another series with the cable network. According to The Wrap, Odenkirk will be starring in Straight Man, a comedic drama set in the fictional town of Railton, Pennsylvania. It’s based on a 1997 novel by Richard Russo, author of Nobody’s Fool and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire Falls, both of which were also adapted for the screen.
Straight Man happens to be one of my favorite books. It tells the story of William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the unlikely interim chair of the English department at an underfunded college. He’s having a bit of a mid-life crisis that includes feeling insecure in his marriage, verbal and physical conflict with his co-workers, coming to grips with his past, some health issues, and a outrageous incident involving a goose. It’s not as heavy as it might seem. Richard Russo has a knack for injecting humor into almost any situation via his vividly-crafted and entertaining characters.
Considering the success of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, AMC is smart to stick with Bob Odenkirk. Dan McDermott, president of entertainment for AMC Studios and AMC Networks, said, “As Better Call Saul begins its epic sixth and final season, we could not be more excited by the prospect of keeping Bob at home on AMC and watching him breathe life into another nuanced, complicated, and unforgettable character.”
Bob Odenkirk added, “I have loved the mix of comedy and drama in ‘Better Call Saul,’ and this is another story with a unique dynamic, and the kind of closely observed character writing and exploration that AMC has become the touchstone for. It’s going to be fun to play and watch!” I’ll definitely be watching.